Germany's largest region, has sat for an interview with the FT where he laid out the broad strokes of his domestic and foreign policies, which largely hew to Merkel.
As the frontrunner to win September's federal election and succeed Merkel as Chancellor, Laschet said that the EU recovery fund will more than likely be a one-off, and that the COVID-19 outbreak won't lead Germany and the rest of the EU to adopt a more federal system. Laschet denies that he's trying to "put the COVID genie back in the bottle," but he insists that there's no reason why life can't go back to normal.
"Under the Maastricht rules, every country is responsible for its own debts," he says. "The basic idea is to avoid a situation where one country is liable for the debts of another...and this principle still applies."